Monday, October 10, 2011

Horses and Donkeys

Today is Columbus Day in the United States.  It's not a huge holiday, and not a paid holiday at work, but they do encourage us to take the day off.  I was all over that.

This morning, I rode Jackson.  We started by doing his neuro-muscular exercises over the poles.  I walked him back and forth, changing the distances frequently, for about ten minutes.  Then I tightened up his saddle and got on.  We started with more walking and then some trot work.  I'm trying to teach him to reach long and low in the warm up, and he's getting better, but we still have work to do there.  Next, I worked on some transitions to get his hind end engaged.  We would trot to a letter, walk two strides, and then immediately trot off again.  It's making a huge difference in how he carries himself and also keeps him light off my leg.  Next, we did some transitions within trot -- a big trot down the long side and a more compressed trot on the short side.  We are still a long way from calling it collection.  At this point, my goal is to make him loose and supple and able to move his body easily.  We finished up with some canter work.  Again, it was excellent.  For the first time in months, I felt like I had my dressage horse back.  My goal is to take a lesson on him in early November.  To do that, he needs to stay sound while increasing his strength and fitness.  I have all my fingers and toes crossed.

In the afternoon, I wandered around outside.  It was another beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 70s.  I picked an apple in the orchard and ate it as I walked down to the horse pasture.  The horses were in a huddle, discussing something.
Jackson: Hey Mom!  Come on over and bring that apple core with you.

Flash: Ah - hem.  I am the alpha horse here.  And I want the core.

Flash:   I understand that Jackson got most of it.  He is her horse.  But I get the rest.  Beat it Kalvin!
Meanwhile, the donkeys were hanging out at the bottom of the pasture where the ground is soft and sandy.

Finessa enjoyed rolling while Tuffy stood guard.

Tuffy:  I think there's a fly in my ear.

Aren't we cute?  Don't you want to give us an apple core too?  Me:  Sorry, you're on a diet.
I sat by the water trough for awhile.  Have you ever heard people refer to horses as over-sized termites?  It's true.

When I left, Jackson followed me all the way to the pasture gate.  I love having a horse who wants to be with me more than with his friends.
Jackson: She thinks it's about love.  It's really about apple cores.
The other day I was at a tack and feed store and found myself a hat.  I really need to protect my skin from the sun more.  I thought maybe if I had a cute hat, I'd wear it.  Do you like it?  I took a picture of my reflection in the window.

Eventually, I had to go back in the house and start dinner.  I'm braising some lamb shanks in a sauce seasoned with ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and saffron.  There's apricots in the pot too.

I bought some crusty bread to go with it and I think I'll make an apple cobbler for dessert.  It's Lori's fault -- she posted a picture of an apple Betty she made and I dreamt about it all last night.

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  1. i DO like your hat! i'm terrible with wearing hats, but i DO insist on a visor if i'm doing yard work to keep the sun off my face.

  2. Beautiful day to be off work. I watched most of it through the glass building I work in, but spent the evening with my mares doing barn and horsey stuff!

    Lori and her apple betty... I KNOW RIGHT!

  3. Those lamb shanks sound delish!
    (much better then apple cores)

    Great Hat!

  4. Love that reflection photo. The hat suits you. What I want to know is how you learned and have time to cook so well? Bret must be so spoiled.

  5. Nice hat - it does suit you :) Sounds like a simply wonderful day!

  6. Your leaves are SO green yet.....ours are gone for the most part. Your dinner made me hungry!

  7. I do love the hat it looks good. The sun is evil. B

  8. my mother in law has a chicken-apricot dish that my husband dreams about at night- he calls it "wine chicken;" I know that if I tried to make it, it would never measure up to his mother's, but this one you have here looks pretty awesome- but still different from the MIL's.

    p.s. lovin the captions of what the horses are thinking; esp. the fly in the ear :)

  9. Love all the pictures...amazing how the face of a donkey can melt your heart :)

  10. What fun! Love the mini donkey pics and especially the line about horses as termites (which I read to my hubby)! Mmmm, you make me wish I were a better cook.Great blog!


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